Gimme One Good Reason

by Robert Pondiscio
October 2nd, 2009

I’ve been as critical of the squishy, content-free proposed national ELA standards as anyone, but over at Flypaper Eric Ulas reminds us that there is at least one good reason to support national standards: an end to the, er, impressionistic definitions of reading proficiency from state to state.  Ulas assumes we would have a single national test (I do too) to accompany national standards.  This would mean apples to apples comparisons and presumably an end to the race to lower cut scores.  The sunshine that would result from a national test would go a long way toward a sensible conversation about what’s working, what’s not working and why. 

Also well worth your time is Tom Hoffman’s take on the standards at Tuttle SVC.  Tom and I don’t always agree, but he knows standards, and  his point that the proposed standards are “narrower, lower, and shallower than the Language Arts standards of high performing countries” is very persuasive and backed up with good examples.  “No country with high reading scores in international assessments conceives of the discipline of Language Arts as being limited to literacy skills, or “college- and career-readiness,” as the Common Standards do,” he writes.